FOLLOWING HIS MAJOR PUSH, SCHUMER ANNOUNCES THE ARMY CORPS WILL DIRECT OVER $4 MILLION IN FUNDING TO REBUILD CRUMBLING ATHOL SPRINGS ROUTE 5 BARRIER ALONG LAKE ERIE; NEW BARRIER WILL ENSURE SAFETY OF DRIVERS, SCHOOLS, FIRST RESPONDERS & BUSINESSES IN EVEN THE MOST TREACHEROUS CONDITIONS
Schumer Led The Charge to Rebuild Route 5, The Main Artery Between Downtown Buffalo And The Southtowns, Which Carries Over 40,000 Vehicles Each Day And Provides Residents And Visitors Critical Access To Local Businesses And Schools; Road Is Only Protected From Tempestuous Waters By A Crumbling Sea Wall Nearly A Century Old
Today, At Schumer's Urging, The USACE Included Over $4 Million To Construct A New Barrier Wall Through 2018 Supplemental Funds; New Barrier Wall Will Shield Drivers During Harsh Conditions
Schumer: New Barrier Wall Will Bring Long-Awaited Safety And Peace Of Mind To Drivers, Business, And Residents Throughout Buffalo And the Southtowns
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer today announced that, following his major push, the U.S Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has provided over $4 million in funding for the Athol Springs Route 5 barrier project through 2018 Supplemental funding. Specifically, USACE will use the funding to construct a new, safer, and more durable stone barrier to shield Route 5 against crashing waters from Lake Erie during large storms. According to Schumer, the new barrier is critical to ensure the safety of drivers trying to access their homes, schools, and local businesses. Schumer explained that through the supplemental funding the project will be completely funded by the USACE, and applauded the USACE for prioritizing this crucial project.
“Route 5 is a vital link between Buffalo and the Southtowns, but, due to the quickly deteriorating condition of the existing barrier wall along Lake Erie, drivers are endangered whenever waves come crashing over the wall and onto Route 5. However, today, I’m thrilled to announce that the Army Corps has included over $4 million in 2018 Supplemental funding to construct a vital new barrier,” said Senator Schumer. “This new barrier wall will shield drivers during even the most treacherous conditions that are trying to get home, to school, or to their job. I applaud the USACE for prioritizing this crucial project, and will always fight in the Senate for infrastructure upgrades that increase safety, help complete important local projects, and boost quality of life and the Western New York economy.”
Schumer explained without this critical federal investment, drivers would continue being placed in harm’s way – especially during the winter when the water freezes almost immediately creating even more dangerous conditions. In addition to the significant safety concerns, Schumer said the economic consequences are palpable: during the winter months, local officials are often forced to close the roadway, cutting off vital access to over 40,000 vehicles, and hurting many local businesses who rely on traffic from Route 5. Located along Lake Erie in Hamburg, New York, Route 5 serves as a main artery between the city of Buffalo and communities to the south.
Schumer explained that USACE has already finished the project design for the approximately 1,325-foot revetment and 15-foot wide "splash apron" which will further protect motorists. Designed foremost for safety, the barrier will double as a concrete pedestrian walkway along the shoreline.
Nearly a century old, the existing wall is rapidly deteriorating and is no longer able to absorb or drain the large waves that result from storms on Lake Erie. The effects are even worse when southwest and west winds hit the shore putting drivers along Route 5 at constant risk of being caught by waves as they crash onto the roadway.
The funding comes after Schumer’s visit to Rt. 5 during the summer of 2017. During his visit, Schumer called on USACE to construct a new, safer, and more durable stone barrier to shield Route 5 against crashing waters from Lake Erie during large storms.
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